Studying methane in the Mars atmosphere using SOIR-NOMAD

Vandaele, Ann Carine; Drummond, R.J.; Daerden, F.; Neefs, E.; Lopez-Moreno, J.; Bellucci, G. and Patel, M. (2010). Studying methane in the Mars atmosphere using SOIR-NOMAD. In: American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #42, 3-8 Oct 2010, Pasedena, CA, US.



SOIR-NOMAD is a spectrometer suite capable of solar-occultation, limb and nadir observations in the UV-Visible-IR wavelengths (0.2-0.65 and 2.3-4.2 micron). It builds on the heritage of SOIR from Venus Express and UVIS from the ExoMars lander (both ESA missions). The wide spectral range allows detection of many trace species, such as CH4, CO2, CO, H2O, NO2 N2O, O3, C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, H2CO, HCN, OCS, SO2, HCl, HO2, H2S and isotopologues including those of CH4 and H2O. Methane will be constrained to sub parts per billions in occultation and mapped at parts per billion levels (column fraction) in nadir; allowing identification of source regions. This instrument suite will also characterize dust and ice aerosols and clouds.

We will present each of the channels of the SOIR-NOMAD instrument, their characteristics and capabilities, including detection limits for species important to the deeper understanding of the Martian atmosphere. We will present simulations of spectra that could be measured at Mars as well as showing the predicted coverage from the expected TGO orbit.

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